Drab downstairs loo gets a dazzling 'mermaid' makeover with seashell wallpaper

This homeowner gave her neutral scheme a bright and colourful overhaul

When it comes to the downstairs loo, it's a space that can all too often be neglected – but not for this homeowner who sprinkled some magic and turned it into a pretty seashore-inspired bathroom fit for a mermaid!

Sophia Ferrari-Wills from Cambridgeshire wanted her neutral-coloured downstairs WC to match the rest of her boldly-decorated home. She couldn't wait to experiment with both pattern and colour to transform the existing neutral bathroom idea. 'The room wasn't actually that bad before we gave it a mermaid makeover, but I'm so glad we did,' she says.

Downstairs loo makeover

When it came to picking a theme for the room, it was always going to be mermaid-inspired. 'I've been all about the shells and fish scale details since I was little and channelled Ariel from The Little Mermaid,' Sophia recalls. 'Twenty-five years later and I actually got to decorate my downstairs bathroom like I live under the sea!'

Before: Plain and neutral

bathroom makeover and mirror

(Image credit: Sophia Ferrari-Wills)

The room in question was previously decorated in a quaint, country house style, with soft green wall panelling, English Rose-painted walls and mosaic tiles over the sink. Safe to say it's certainly not the hideous before picture we often see, but it just wasn't vibrant enough for Sophia's taste.

Despite there being nothing wrong with the original downstairs loo, however, she was keen to change it. 'It’s one of my most satisfying makeover accomplishments to date,' she says.

After: Mermaid inspired downstairs loo

after bathroom makeover

(Image credit: Sophia Ferrari-Wills)

It's hard to know what to look at first, as the new scheme has so many things about it we love. From the beautiful seashell wallpaper to the bright yellow paintwork and pretty details, it's certainly a change from the neutral palette it had before.

'The starting point was the wallpaper,' says Sophia. 'There was no other option, it had to be Eleanor Bowmer's Miami Shells wallpaper design! I had mermaid vibes on the mind and this print fit the style perfectly. Alongside the gold, light-catching scallop-style tiles, the two create quite a statement.'

Get the look: Pink Miami Shells wallpaper, £85 a roll, Eleanor Bowmer

bathroom with washbasin and mirror

(Image credit: Sophia Ferrari-Wills)

In a bold contrast to the wallpaper, Sophia chose a vibrant yellow colour for the paintwork. ‘The wallpaper mainly contains soft pinks, blues and peach, but I picked out the sherbet yellow from the urchin motif and colour-matched it to Edith’s Eye paint from Little Greene,' she says.

'I found the bright, refreshing yellow beautifully compliments the subtle pink background of the wallpaper and brings it to life more than any other featured colour would have.'

Get the look: Edith's Eye eggshell paint, £35 for one litre, Little Greene

bathroom with wallpaper on wall and mirror

(Image credit: Sophia Ferrari-Wills)

When it came to the accessories, Sophia had fun picking out shapes that echo those in the wallpaper. 'I hunted for shell designs, matte pinks and a vase in a tobacco shade that is another colour featured in the wallpaper design,' she says. 'Pulling various textures and shapes together helps bring another layer to the WC.'

‘I genuinely pass the downstairs WC and smile every time I go by,' she continues. 'Every guest jumps at the chance to frequent the WC! It’s one of my most popular makeovers. I just need to decide on whether I upgrade the toilet to a pink one now…'

To see more of Sophia's home, you can find her on Instagram @thiscolourfulnest.

What do you think of this makeover – has it inspired you to go bold with your bathroom design?

Laurie Davidson

Laurie Davidson is a professional stylist, writer and content creator, who lives and breathes interiors. Having worked for some of the UK’s leading interior magazines, styled homes up and down the country and produced sets for TV shows, adverts and top brands, it’s safe to say Laurie has had a pretty exciting career. Find her on Instagram at @lifeofaninteriorstylist or over at lauriedavidson.co.uk